Programme National Delta Conference 2017

The National Delta Congress 2017 took place on Thursday 2 November in the WTC EXPO Leeuwarden.  The theme of the conference was "Continuing the work on a sustainable and safe delta".

Time table

09.45 a.m. - 11.00 a.m. Arrival and registration
09.45 a.m. - 17.00 p.m. Delta Parade
11.00 a.m. - 12.15 p.m. Plenary opening session
12.15 p.m. - 13.30 p.m. Lunch
13.45 p.m. - 15.15 p.m. Five parallel sessions
15.15 p.m. - 17.00 p.m. Delta snacks and drinks

The full programme will be published by the end of September.


As of October 25, 2017 the registration has been closed.


09.45 a.m. - 11.00 a.m. | Arrival and registration

09.45 a.m. - 17.00 p.m. | Delta Parade

The Delta Parade is the central meeting place for participants. In addition to meeting points and presentation booths, it features kick-offs, short presentations, meet & greet opportunities, and round table discussions at surprising locations.

11.00 a.m. – 12.15 p.m. | Plenary opening session

  • Welcome by day chair Inge Diepman and conference host, Delta Programme Commissioner Wim Kuijken.
  • Opening of the Delta Conference by Ferd Crone, Mayor of Leeuwarden and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute KNMI.
  • Address by the Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment or the Minister for the Environment (to be confirmed).
  • Film Continuing the work on a sustainable and safe delta.
  • Keynote address ‘Zin in de toekomst: tijd voor verbeelding’ [Looking forward to the future: time for visualisation] Maarten Hajer, Professor of Urban Futures at Utrecht University explains what it takes on the part of the delta community to get ahead with the work on the delta, now and in the coming decades, and how we can up our enthusiasm and confidence to work on a sustainable and safe delta. Professor Hajer presents various cases in point to illustrate how success is contingent upon the intertwinement of science, culture, governance, and politics.
  • The spotlight is turned onto a special guest or project.
  • The parallel sessions are introduced by the Chairs of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities, the Association of Provincial Authorities, and the Association of Dutch Regional Water Authorities, and the Director-General for Spatial Development and Water Affairs.
  • In a spoken column, Liesbeth Schippers, a lawyer specialising in environmental law, presents her view on the implementation of the Delta Programme, and how the introduction of the Environmental Act can strengthen the ties between spatial planning and water.

09.45 a.m. - 17.00 p.m. | Delta Parade

The Delta Parade – the central meeting place at the Delta Conference – invites you to share knowledge, experience, and information. At several surprising locations, you may participate in a diverse programme featuring kick-offs, short presentations, round table discussions, or serious games. Four zones connect the meeting points and presentation booths at the Delta Parade. Three zones are devoted to the three Delta Plans: Flood Risk Management, Spatial Adaptation, and Freshwater Supply. The fourth zone is focused on knowledge, participation/communication, and tools.

Regions and themes:

  • Delta Programme
  • Southern and Eastern Elevated Sandy Soils
  • IJsselmeer Region
  • Coast
  • Meuse
  • Rhine
  • Rhine Estuary-Drechtsteden
  • Spatial Adaptation
  • Wadden Region
  • Flood Risk Management
  • Freshwater Supply - National
  • Freshwater Supply – Area around the major rivers / Western Netherlands
  • Southwest Delta

Organisations, programmes, and projects associated with the Delta Programme:

  • Atelier X
  • Climate Adaptation Services (CAS)
  • National Climate Buffers Coalition
  • IJsselmeer Closure Dam (Afsluitdijk)
  • Delta Plan on Flood Risk Management / Dijkwerkers [dyke workers] platform
  • Interreg Flood Resilient Areas by Multi-layEred Safety (FRAMeS)
  • Youth Water Board
  • Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute KNMI
  • LIFE Integrated Projects (LIFE IP) Delta Nature
  • National Water Model
  • National Water and Climate Knowledge and Innovation Programme (NKWK)
  • Ons Water
  • Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL)
  • Water and Evacuation Project
  • Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands
  • Water Top Sector
  • Delta Valorisation Programme (VP Delta)
  • Vital and Vulnerable
  • WaterWindow

Social media reporters at the Delta Parade will do a live report on the Delta Conference. They will be interviewing speakers and participants, making photos and video films that will be disseminated through social media. Follow the Delta Programme Commissioner at @delta_comm and use #deltacongres in your tweets.

13.45 p.m. – 15.15 p.m. | Parallel sessions


  • Spatial adaptation | #DPRAhoedan?
    The Delta Programme 2018 comprises the First Delta Plan on Spatial Adaptation. This Delta Plan serves to get the Netherlands ready for 2050. By factoring in severe downpours, periods of drought and heat, and the impact of potential flooding, we can prepare for climate change. But how are we going to set about this? What choices will we make? Where will we start? Technology and enthusiasm are not an issue. The integrated nature of the taskings opens up opportunities and inspires many, yet also complicates the implementation of the measures and the commencement of the efforts. In this session, #DPRAhoedan [#Delta Plan on Spatial Adaptation – How?] we intend to find and provide a number of concrete answers, together with the participants.

  • Freshwater supply | Jointly responsible for freshwater, today and in the future!
    Working on water availability is an important tasking in terms of freshwater supply. It is a tasking to be tackled jointly by both water managers and consumers. We will use their input and experience to enter into a dialogue with the participants on collaboration and connection. What is in store for us, and what can we do to attain the freshwater supply goals? From various perspectives, we will review drought, salinisation, and innovative cases in elevated and low-lying parts of the Netherlands. We will be focusing on regional processes, looking into the water availability roadmap, and seeking to tie in with overlapping themes such as climate adaptation. We invite you to join in, because our freshwater supply is our shared responsibility!

  • Climate change and weather extremes
    Climate change appears to proceed at a more rapid pace than expected, as does the increase in extreme weather. Measurements confirm this, and we can see it for ourselves. For example, this summer a huge ice sheet broke off from Antarctica, and the frequency of heavy summer downpours is increasing. In this session, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute KNMI will inform you about the potential acceleration in sea level rise, and the increase in cluster downpours and waterlogging. A weather presenter will lead us in a collective reflection on these developments, and conduct a dialogue on how this message can be disseminated to a wider audience and translated into concrete measures.

  • Governance | The art of collaboration
    We need one another to realise the Delta Programme taskings. This applies to flood risk management and freshwater supply, but it is especially true for spatial adaptation. The new Delta Plan calls for expediting these measures. How can we substantiate this? Which partners do we involve? What are the preconditions for good collaboration? There is no blueprint for collaboration, as each situation is unique. Yet there is a lot to be learnt about collaboration and those aspects that boost the chances of success. In this session, we aim to inspire you about various and especially new forms of collaboration. How are you cooperating, and what alternatives are there? We will discuss this with reference to several cases in point, also making excursions into other policy fields. We will set to work right away, together with you!

  • Flood risk management | Delta Plan on Flood Risk Management; dyke workers are rolling up their sleeves
    The work on flood risk management is never finished. The Netherlands is and remains vulnerable to flooding. The national dyke improvement tasking, spanning 1100 kilometres, is extensive and complex. Each location requires a tailored approach and a comparative assessment of regional interests and area development. After all, the impact of our work determines the layout of the Netherlands. Recent decades have seen considerable changes in policy, strategies, and technology, not just as a result of the new standards and the many innovations, but also because of the linkage of other societal and economic taskings to dyke improvements. Together we have already learnt a great deal. Yet we keep asking ourselves how we can improve, in order to attain continued added value in projects. Are our dyke improvements sufficiently sustainable? Which innovations will have become commonplace by 2020? What does this entail for the next generation of dyke workers? What roles will government authorities, businesses, and residents be playing in the near future? And what does that mean for the knowledge and expertise we will need to pass on to our successors? Because we are jointly responsible for a sustainable and safe delta, we invite you to weigh in and collectively explore how you can contribute.

15.15 p.m. – 17.00 p.m. | Delta snacks and drinks

Amsterdam International Water Week (AIWW)

The National Delta Conference 2017 will take place during the Amsterdam International Water Week (30 October – 3 November 2017): a week in which international and national professionals and administrators involved in water will meet and exchange information. For more information:

More information